Why The Russos Are The Best Thing to Happen to the MCU Since Joss Whedon
Testifying Thursday on Capitol Hill, actor Ben Affleck reminded senators that, well, he’s Batman — and dropped a minor spoiler about the upcoming Warner Bros. film.
“To Senator Leahy, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my co-star in Batman,” Affleck said, addressing Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. “The role is marginally smaller than mine but I understand you’re quite good.”
If you’re a Barack Obama supporter, you’ve probably gotten a lot of emails from him, from his campaign and from his administration over the years. Like, a lot. Even the most ardent Obama boosters may have tuned them out.
Yet one that arrived today is certainly worth noting, as the president speaks directly about his comic book fandom:
I don’t know much about Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Paul Soglin, but I’m willing to bet Friday was the first time in a political career that stretches back to 1968 that he’s been photographed with Groot. Or, well, any Flora colossus from Planet X.
However, you don’t get elected mayor seven times — seven times! — without kissing a few babies and shaking a few branches … of sentient tree creatures.
As slain Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier was laid to rest Friday, a cartoonist from the predecessor magazine Hara-Kiri denounced his determination to run the Prophet Muhammad cartoons despite violence and threats.
The latest issue of the French satire magazine continues to sell briskly, as print runs climbed to 5 million, and the Charlie Hebdo app has been updated, with this week’s issue available in English as well as France. Reactions from Muslim scholars and clerics to the latest issue were negative, but generally counseled restraint. Around the world, protestors have taken to the streets; most of the demonstrations have been peaceful but a few have turned violent.
The cartoonist Luz, one of the artists of the Muhammad covers, gave an emotional eulogy at Charbonnier’s funeral, calling him a “friend, brother, drinking buddy… partner in crime,” and expressing his regret that Charbonnier would not be there to draw the events following the Jan. 7 attack, and expressing his hope that “thousands of Charlie Hebdos” will spring up in its aftermath.
Meanwhile, Henri Roussel, one of the contributors to the magazine that became Charlie Hebdo, denounced Charbonnier for continuing to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad after the magazine’s offices were firebombed in 2011.
Nasser bin al-Ansi, head of al-Qaida in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attack Jan. 7 on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people, including five prominent cartoonists.
“As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organization of al-Qaida al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,” al-Ansi said in a video posted on YouTube. He claimed the massacre was ordered by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, and that the “one who chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation is the leadership of the organization.”
Remaining defiant in the wake of the killings last week in its Paris headquarters, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo on Monday night debuted the cover of the next issue, featuring a tearful Prophet Muhammad holding a sign with the slogan “Je Suis Charlie” — “I Am Charlie.”
The cover, bearing the headline “Tout Est Pardonne” (“All Is Forgiven”), was initially released on the website of the French newspaper Libération, which is allowing the satirical magazine’s staff to use work from its offices. With Charlie Hebdo‘s headquarters still a crime scene, its surviving employees are using equipment on loan from Le Monde.
“We will not give in,” the magazine’s attorney Richard Malka told France Info radio. “The spirit of ‘I am Charlie’ means the right to blaspheme.”
Two masked gunmen, later identified as jihadist brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, shot and killed 12 people, including five cartoonists, Jan. 7 at Charlie Hebdo‘s offices. The Kouachis were themselves killed following a standoff with French special forces.
In an unexpected turn, the smiling blue robot cat Doraemon has become embroiled in a political controversy in China, where critics charge that the popular anime character is a tool for Japan’s “cultural invasion.”
The New York Times reports the rumpus follows the successful opening in mid-August of the 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo in Chengdu, which apparently led three major newspapers last week to question the motives of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, and not its cultural or economic branches, in naming the cartoon cat as “anime ambassador.” Doraemon, the argument goes, is merely a Trojan Horse for Japan’s political goals.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley last week signed a state budget that requires two colleges to spend nearly $70,000 to teach the U.S. Constitution and other historical documents as punishment for selecting gay-themed books for their freshman reading programs.
According to The State, Haley said she appreciated the compromise, approved last month by the state Senate to prevent a standoff over the House’s punitive cuts of $52,000 to the College of Charleston and $17,142 to the University of South Carolina Upstate for selecting Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, respectively. The figures represent the amount each school spent on last year’s programs.
During heated debates in both legislative bodies, some lawmakers accused the College of Charleston of promoting a gay agenda and forcing pornography on its students. On the floor of the Senate, where a vote was delayed by a Democrat-led filibuster, some legislators reportedly “compared Fun Home and its author to everything from slavery to serial murderer Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler.”
The South Carolina Senate on Tuesday overturned punitive budgets cuts of nearly $70,000 against two universities that selected gay-themed books for their reading programs for incoming freshmen, but instead will require the schools to use the money to teach the U.S. Constitution and other historical documents.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Republican Sen. Larry Grooms proposed the compromise after Democrats last week blocked a vote on a House proposal that would trim $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from the University of South Carolina Upstate for selecting Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic novel Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, about South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show, respectively. The figures represent the amount each school spent on last year’s programs.
Grooms’ amendment redirects that money to programs “related to instruction in the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers, including the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals.” It also ensures students who object to the reading material can opt out with no negative consequences.
The newspaper reports the amendment was approved by voice vote, which means there’s no record of the number of ayes and nos. The Senate and House will now have to agree on which version of the state budget to adopt.
Staging a nearly four-hour filibuster, a South Carolina Senate Democrat on Wednesday delayed a vote on proposed budget cuts to two state universities in retaliation for selecting gay-themed books for their summer reading programs.
Although the Senate had been expected to resume debate on Thursday, that never happened. Instead, the Charleston Post and Courier reports the senator behind the filibuster, Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, said there’s a deal in the works that could allow legislators to move past the impasse.
The South Carolina House of Representatives in March approved a state budget that would cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from the University of South Carolina Upstate for selecting Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, about South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show, respectively. The figures represent the amount each school spent on last year’s programs.
In a recent ranking of states most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, Florida was certainly no New Jersey — Garden State residents would be the first to go — but it also wasn’t likely to outlast the outbreak. Floridians were somewhere in the middle of the pack (No. 32, sandwiched between Washington and Oregon), which probably means they’re destined to become freshly squeezed midnight snacks.
Or at least they might’ve been, before this week. The Florida Senate is considering legislation that would permit all residents, whether or not they’re licensed, to carry concealed firearms during any mandatory evacuations ordered as part of a declared state of emergency. Say, because of a hurricane or flooding.
Proponents argue the law is necessary because residents fleeing during an evacuation shouldn’t have to leave their guns at home, where they might be stolen by looters; opponents, including the Florida Sheriff’s Association, say the bill’s language is dangerously vague and “absurd.” But Sen. Dwight Bullard understands the real need for the measure: the walking dead.
Gaurav Sharma wants the votes of residents of South Mumbai, India, and he’ll go to almost any lengths — or heights — to get them.
An Independent candidate for the lower house of the Parliament of India, Sharma is a martial-arts instructor better known as the Indian Spider-Man. Earlier this year he donned the familiar red-and-blue costume of the Marvel superhero to climb one of Mumbai’s tallest buildings in record time, but now he’s scaling apartment complexes and jumping from window to window and balcony to balcony to drum up support.